NL East Notes: Mets Plan, Nats Targets, Byrd

Jayson Stark discussed some of the best run organizations in an audio interview with Matthew Cerrone of MetsBlog. Stark makes special note of the A’s, Rays, Tigers, and Cubs as tightly run organizations with a coherent, “nimble” plan. Stark and Cerrone then touched on the Mets plan, noting the excellent pitching depth in the organization. Rival scouts like the Mets future outlook according to Stark, but they may need to trade some of their pitching depth for position players.

  • In an interview with Bill Ladson of, Nationals GM Mike Rizzo was circumspect when describing the club’s needs heading into the trade deadline. Based on Rizzo’s comments, the club is happy with its current depth, even with Ryan Zimmerman suffering from a hamstring injury. The bullpen was also discussed, which Rizzo described as “pretty good…solid.”
  • In a separate piece, Ladson reveals that the Nationals inquired after Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre but were rebuffed. Combining the two reports, it seems as though the Nationals would like to acquire an elite talent but aren’t overly anxious to add patches.
  • There’s definitely a market for Marlon Byrd, but his contract could get in the way, notes Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. While the Phillies are obvious sellers, their assets all have some sort of contractual complication. Byrd would like his 2016 option picked up for a trade to the Mariners or Royals – two teams on his no trade list. Heyman also mentions Ryan Howard, Cliff Lee, and Jimmy Rollins as other Phillies with contractual barriers, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

33 Responses to NL East Notes: Mets Plan, Nats Targets, Byrd Leave a Reply

  1. Eric 1 year ago

    I don’t get the strong aversion to Byrd’s contract. I know he’s 36, but 2012 was his only down year in what has been a solid career along with great recent production.

    The 2016 option is actually team friendly (unless the Ms or Royals guarantee it). It will only vest if he plays well enough next year to garner 500-550 plate appearances. If he plays poorly, there’s not much risk in it vesting.

    • Stuart Brown 1 year ago

      What Byrd wants is for assurance that teams will pick up the team option if the vesting option doesn’t vest. And he wants that before he his traded. It might not look bad now, but he’d be 38 at the start of the 2016 season. Assuring an older player that they’re going to be paying him $8MM regardless of what happens is a bit of a risk, especially for a team with a tighter payroll that may be looking for OF help like say the Mariners or Royals.

      • Eric 1 year ago

        He only has that leverage with 4 out of the 29 teams.

        • alphabet_soup5 1 year ago

          Since 2005, 11 outfielders age 38+ have played full seasons. The best ones are 2007 Kenny Lofton and 2012 Ichiro.

          It is doubtful Byrd will outperform them, which makes $8m hard to justify.

          • Eric 1 year ago

            How many outfielders have put up 7.7 WAR over the season and a half before their age 38 season in the past decade? It’s not a big sample size.

        • Stuart Brown 1 year ago

          True, but who else is going to go after him aggressively? Maybe the Yankees, but while their OF has been largely light-hitting, they’re still doing well.

          Not only does he have leverage on the more tighter-spending clubs in recent years, these ones are also the ones in need of the most help and the ones that are fringe contenders, rather than those all but guaranteed to be in the postseason.

          Basically, he has the most leverage on the teams in most need of his services. However, he couldn’t have known that before the season, right?

  2. OriginalHitman 1 year ago

    “Rival scouts like the Mets future outlook according to Stark, but they may need to trade some of their pitching depth for position players.”

    I don’t know why the Mets & Cubs haven’t hooked up a trade yet. Perfect trade partners.

    • Tom 1 year ago

      Teams hate doing prospect for prospect swaps.

    • stl_cards16 1 year ago

      You can never have enough pitching depth. Everyone was so eager for the Cardinals to trade some SP the last 2 off-seasons, now they’re looking fot pitching at the deadline.

      • OriginalHitman 1 year ago

        I understand that, which is why I feel they’ll be going hard for more young pitching in exchange of Murphy & Colon within the next few days.

    • chicothekid 1 year ago

      The Mets want to trade for one of the SS prospects, but the Cubs want them to take Castro. The Mets do not want Castro and talks are at a standstill.

      • OriginalHitman 1 year ago

        I’d want to see the Mets scoop up Baez & Soler. To me, Baez is the odd man out in that middle infield situation. Bryant is their guy at 3B, Russell at SS, and Castro at 2B, despite them saying they want to move Castro to 3B. You already have Alcantara up at CF, and Schwarber will be coming through quickly to patrol LF. I can see them being a match for Giancarlo Stanton in order to put it all together. Not to mention, they’ll being going hard for SP this winter in FA.

        • godzillacub 1 year ago

          To “scoop up” Baez and Soler would cost a mint. Also the criticism that the Cubs have an “odd man out” is silly as it is based on the idea that all of these prospects will turn out. Having redundancy is good.

          • OriginalHitman 1 year ago

            The way the Mets are set up, they have a mint to get both.

          • Metfan9876 1 year ago

            Haven’t the Cubs also said they’re willing to keep all of these guys? I believe I saw them say they could simply put Bryant somewhere in the outfield if they need to.

      • thenewyorkfan05 1 year ago

        i personally would take castro over one of the prospects. Simply because Castro has proven he can make it in the bigs has a reasonable contact and is already ready. Im sure he will cost a little more in terms of prospects but if cubs are real high on the younger ones it still could be a reasonable trade

      • calamityfrancis 1 year ago


    • rct 1 year ago

      I think it’s for two reasons:

      -Both teams are at similar points in their rebuilding processes. Teams that are rebuilding generally trade away shorter-term assets (ie veteran players not figuring into the long-term plans) to contending teams for prospects. Rebuilding teams generally do not do blockbuster prospect trades with each other, mostly because they have the luxury of patience (ie developing their own talent)
      -Both Epstein and Alderson are shrewd traders. I would be surprised if they even engaged in preliminary talks, as both parties know they would be paying a hefty price for whatever they’re trading for.

      • godzillacub 1 year ago

        I’d further this analysis by noting the riskiness of pitchers. In any trade Theo/Hoyer are going to want more than fair value for one of their hitting prospects because pitcher prospects are more volatile; whereas this is something that Alderson can’t do because he’d be taking two steps back to take one step forward (rather than just signing position players in free agency, or trading them for cents on the dollar for rebuilding teams looking for pitching).

    • SCarton12 1 year ago

      They haven’t hooked up for a trade because neither team is going to the playoffs. The off-season looks good for a match up.

  3. skrockij89 1 year ago

    If the phillies want to trade Byrd to the M’s. They should offer to pay a portion of the his option. I’m sure they would be able to sell that to the M’s to pull a trade.

    • Jeff Miller 1 year ago

      They should offer to pay his entire option for RHP Edwin Diaz and OF Gabby Guerrero. That would cover $8M of the roughly $18.5M he’d be owed with the option guaranteed.

  4. Cuso 1 year ago

    I’ve seen limited NTCs, but having an NTC with only 4 teams on it seems a little silly. Sometimes guys put big-market teams on there so they get monetary consideration for waiving it. But this just seems like a haphazard limited NTC. It’s not like he picked the 4 worst teams. He just picked 4….random…teams it would seem.

    • Jeff Miller 1 year ago

      Generally players put Seattle on a NTC because they have to travel the most. Players also put Toronto on NTC’s because of the higher tax rate. Those are 2 teams on Byrd’s NTC.

      • Cuso 1 year ago

        I could see Seattle for the distance – that’s common. Plus I went back and looked at when Byrd signed relative to when Cano signed and obviously Byrd signed a month or so before. KC, I’m not sure I get though:

        • Jeff Miller 1 year ago

          I don’t get KC either. Maybe it’s because they’ve been pretty bad for the last 25 years. Not sure why the Rays were on there either because they’ve been pretty good for the last 6-7 years. Maybe because of their ballpark.

          • Phillyfan425 1 year ago

            He’s said one of the factors for Toronto and Tampa was the turf (which Brad said above). KC seems to be the mystery in the bunch. From his statements a week or so ago – I’m not sure that KC was really his choice. It could have been more his agent’s call.

    • Brad Johnson 1 year ago

      He picked the Rays and Jays due to their turf field. Didn’t think he could handle it at his age. Smart move IMO. I’d hazard that he picked KC and SEA for their pitcher friendly stadiums. Maybe other reasons too.

  5. Daniel Morairity 1 year ago

    Jd is terrible this year but the owners will not fired him

  6. stl_cards16 1 year ago

    I’m not sure I agree with the Rangers not being able to compete next year. But Beltre is the one offensive piece I thought could potentially be available that I would have been willing to see the Cardinals give up a big package for.

  7. alphabet_soup5 1 year ago

    Karma for Jon Daniels pushing Nolan Ryan until he left.

  8. Je Fa 1 year ago

    I have called it the Nolan Ryan Curse for a few months now.

  9. Phillyfan425 1 year ago

    It’s the option for 2016 that he’s saying could get in the way (which he wants guaranteed if he’s traded to one of the teams on his no-trade list). While I don’t believe it should be a gigantic stumbling block, I get the hesitance of the Mariners to guarantee a second season to a guy who’ll be 38 at the start of the year.

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